The effect of single-dose, preoperative intravenous tranexamic acid on early postoperative pain scores after rotator cuff repair: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2022 Jul;31(7):1399-1408. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2022.02.023. Epub 2022 Mar 26.


Background: Tranexamic acid (TXA) is commonly used in upper and lower limb arthroplasty to limit blood loss and postoperative hematoma formation. The role of TXA in rotator cuff repair (RCR) surgery is less defined. This trial assessed the effect of preoperative TXA on early postoperative pain scores.

Methods: A randomized double-blind trail was conducted in 89 patients undergoing RCR. Patients were randomized to either 2 g of intravenous TXA or placebo at induction. The primary outcome was visual analog scale (VAS)-pain score at day 3 postoperation, with secondary outcomes including VAS-pain, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES), and Constant scores at 2, 8, 24, and 52 weeks.

Results: There was no significant difference in VAS-pain scores between groups at day 3 postoperation. Pain scores were significantly better in the TXA group at 8 weeks. There was no difference between groups at any time point in the ASES or Constant score. The TXA group had improved motion at 6 months with a reduced rate of secondary adhesive capsulitis.

Conclusion: TXA did not improve postoperative pain scores after RCR, however, patients who received the intervention demonstrated greater range of motion at 6 months with lower rates of secondary adhesive capsulitis.

Keywords: TXA; Tranexamic acid; arthroscopic rotator cuff repair; capsulitis; shoulder surgery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthroscopy
  • Bursitis* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / surgery
  • Tranexamic Acid* / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Tranexamic Acid